HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the Connecticut River watershed has come a long way from several decades ago when it was regarded as a landscaped sewer system.
On Thursday he designated the river as the country’s first “National Blueway” in recognition of many organizations’ efforts over the last half century to conserve the river and promote recreational uses.
He said the designation could also help elevate the river as a priority for federal spending and attract further investment from outside groups.
Salazar signed the designation at a riverside park in Hartford. He said the proposal was endorsed by the governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.
The watershed stretching from Canada to Long Island Sound includes mountain peaks, flood-plain forests and the homes of 2.4 million people.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)